I'm flying over the midwestern states - chasing a red sunset all the way. I've a northern window seat, and scan the horizon as we careen through the evening sky. That was always my job when we flew. Voldemort flew the plane; I sat in the co-pilot seat, talked on the radio, made sure we were flying at the correct altitude
-- okay, quick lesson here (after all, I am a teacher, and can't help teaching....) Planes fly "VFR" which is "visual" and "IFR" which is instrument (not, "I Follow Roads"). Did you know that there may only be 500 feet between a plane flying VFR and one flying IFR?!?!? IFR planes flying 0-170degree courses fly on the odd thousand, VFR planes fly on the odd thousand plus 500ft. Above 180degree courses fly on the even thousands, VFR (again) +500feet. Holy shit!!!! So if some Yahoo didn't set the altimeter right.....or is lazy on the yoke......
--which brings me back to MY job -- and the most important part (I thought) of my job: scanned the horizon for other planes. "Why did you scan the horizon?" you ask, "Isn't that the job of the God (otherwise known as the Air Traffic Controller)?"
here is my recollection of one of our trips to Sunny Southern California.....
GOD (ATC#1): ......TwoZuluDelta, this ATC#1. You have traffic at 25,000, 3 miles out.
APj: "Thank you ATC#1. I'll keep my eyes open." Geez, Mike! 25,000 ft!?!? That yahoo thinks I can see 15,000 feet above me!?!? Ha! Like I'm really worried about--HOLY SHIT!
APj: "ATC#1, Negative on 25,000ft 3mile out traffic. But I've got traffic on my 3 o'clock at 15,000ft, less than 1 mile out.
ATC#1: I don't have that bird.
APj: Mike?!? WTF!?!?!? What does he mean he doesn't have that bird?!? I can see the pil--
Mike: Calm down, Jayne. He just means that plane is under someone elses watch. Remember: I told you that all the Traffic Control Centers intersect--
APj: Yeah, yeah. Fine. Hey! Watch your altitude! Aren't you supposed to be on the +500 ft thingy?
Mike: You radio. Me Fly Plane.
Apj: You crash, Me jump from Plane!
ATC#1: TwoZuluDelta, I'm passing you off to Riverside, God#2.
God#2/ATC#2: TwoZuluDelta, I have you. Please be advised you have traffic at 32,000ft, 15 miles out.
APj: "Thank you God#2." Geez, Mike! What is it with this "traffic at zillions of feet" crap?
Mike: Yeah, I know. But they have to tell us when anyone is in our airspace. That's their--
APj: "God#2. Negative on 32,000ft, 15miles out. But I've got a plane at my 9 o'clock, at approx 13,000ft and less than 1 mile.
God#2: Hmmm.....I don't see him on my scope.
Mike: Jayne!?!? What are you doing!?!?!? Why do you have your hand on the door?
APj: Mike, I hope to God you don't hit any turbulence. 'cause I feel the slightest jolt, and I'm jumping!
He smiled, and told me I was being silly. He thought I was being melodramatic. Over-reacting. Yup.....right up until this final exchange as we were on our final approach into John Wayne/Orange County Airport.
God#4: TwoZuluDelta, what's your maximum cruise speed?
APj: 150 MPH
God#4: TwoZuluDelta.....ahhh......what kind of plane are you?
APj: Cessna 182.
God#4: TwoZuluDelta....ahhhhhh.....maintain maximum speed. You've got a 727 right behind you on final.
So there we were, in our tiny little Cessna 182......screaming over the fence on our final approach......not allowed to slow down until we were halfway down the runway.........bigass bird on our tail.........
so now you know why APj is looking out the window when she flies.....